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Naked Wines to support winemakers following strong first half

Online wine marketplace Naked Wines has enjoyed massive growth in the first half of the new financial year, with local revenue 48 per cent up on the same period of FY20, and 80 per cent up as a global group.

This sales increase is largely driven by customer acquisition and retention, with a global customer base of over 750,000, 95 per cent of which create repeat sales for the business.

And though it wasn’t hit particularly hard by the pandemic like players in some other parts of the industry, Naked Wines notes that Covid-19 drove it to accelerate its online offering and provide alternative ways for winemakers to sell their products when cellar doors and restaurants shut.

“The wine industry in Australia has been hit hard with a number of challenges over the past year, even before COVID, and it has forced us as a company to closely consider our role in leading and supporting local winemakers, as well as the wine industry at large,” said Naked Wines Australia managing director Alicia Kennedy.

“Now, more than ever, Australians are comfortable buying online, and these behaviours look set to continue as shoppers have now experienced both the convenience and the quality [of online shopping].

“However, where Naked Wines has really identified a sweet spot is in the groundswell of consumer sentiment towards supporting local winemakers in ways that deliver on quality, fair prices, but also real benefits to local communities.”

And even beyond the shock to the system that was Covid-19, the wine industry now faces the reality of international tariffs on Australian wine by China – a decision that recently caused Treasury Wines to rethink its global business model.

Naked Wines has already begun seeing and hearing the impacts of these tariffs from Australian winemakers, and has said it will announce initiatives soon to help support impacted businesses – likely along the lines of the almost $330,000 it raised to support winemakers impacted by the Christmas bushfires last year, and the $5 million Covid relief fund it established.

“As a company, we will continue to examine how to best step up our efforts to supplement winemaker and industry losses, and provide a direct channel to get local winemaker offerings out to market. Key to this has been raising consumer awareness and confidence in direct online wine delivery services,” Kennedy said.

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